Irish political parties have been jockeying for influence in the first round of talks following Saturday’s general election in which Sinn Fein came out as the biggest winners, obtaining almost a quarter of first preference votes.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has already been in contact with several marginal parties including the Green Party, the Social Democrats, the Solidarity People Before Profit and Labour. However, Sinn Fein, who have obtained 37 seats in the new Parliament, would still need to contract the support of many independent TDs in order to reach the threshold of 80 seats required to obtain a majority.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil, who won 38 seats, seems to be more open to the idea of working with Sinn Féin than Fine Gael, who have dismissed the possibility outright.
Despite Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin previously declining to work with Sinn Féin, on Sunday he refused to repeat his earlier pledge to avoid forming a government with the nationalist outfit. (Samuel Stolton | EURACTIV.com)